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knowledge, induced them as early as 1654, to attempt the foundation of a college in New Haven. Though much interest was excited, and some liberal donations made, yet the patronage of the colonies was too inefficient for the magnitude of the object, and all their exertions ended in the establishment of a grammar school. Connecticut and New Haven, after a series of difficulties with each other, were, at length, united in one colony. In 1700, their united exertions established Yale College at New Haven. This institution originated with the clergy, and its management was, for some time, confined exclusively to them. It early received an efficient patronage, both from private and publick munificence. The sale of one hundred and seven thousand seven hundred and ninety-three acres of publick land, granted to Connecticut by Massachusetts, at the close of a long and obstinate controversy, afforded the colony an opportunity to add six hundred and eighty-three pounds to the funds of the college.
The efforts of New Hampshire for the support of free schools, were more feeble, and suffered more interruptions, than those of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Dartmouth College,* at Hanover, had its origin from an Indian charity school in Lebanon, Connecticut. In 1770, it was removed to Hanover, and incorporated with the privileges of a college. Its
* For a more full account of the origin and early history of this institution, see Adams' History of New England, p. 508; and Belknap's Hist. New Hampshire, Vol. ii, pp. 349-355.
funds consist principally in lands, a great part of which are not yet productive. · A college was founded in the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at nearly the same time the college was established in New Hampshire. These institutions, together with the primary and grammar schools, which have been before described, constitute all the publick provisions for education in New England, while it remained under colonial government. There is no period in the history of our country more interesting than that, while the colonies were struggling with the difficulties incident to a new settlement, and constantly manifesting their impatience of colonial dependence. There is no trait in their policy more important in its results upon the country, than their steady and efficient encouragement of the free schools. Though liable to frequent jealousies among themselves, and involved in constant and harassing wars with the natives, and the French colonies on their northern boundary, they still carried forward with few interruptions, the great work of making a moral and enlightened people. Though each of the colonies conducted its system of schools in a manner somewhat peculiar to itself; yet all proceeded upon the same general principle, which was to afford the means of learning to read and write, together with some knowledge of arithmetick, to every individual. With such a system, and so executed, few could be found so unfortunate as not to have learned the rudiments of reading, spelling, writing, and arithmetick.
The standard of common education, at the period of our history before the revolution, was probably not very high. But it was much, to give to all such opportunities, as enabled them to acquire knowledge sufficient to transact business in the common concerns of life. It was by these means, limited as they were, that a whole community were prepared to know their rights, and to appreciate the free enjoyment of them. The free schools, and the laws for their support, probably acted and reacted upon each other. The laws originating in those enlightened minds, which could foresee and estimate their effects, raised the character of the people, by the dissemination of knowledge, to such a degree as enabled them to trace their happy condition to its true source. And the intelligence and improved condition of the country, were the surest pledges, that a liberal construction would be put upon the laws for the schools. During the strong excitement, which prevailed, when the causes of the revolution were hastening on the crisis, the attention, which had been paid to the subject of education, was, probably, for a time somewhat diverted. All attention and interest were absorbed by the momentous questions in agitation, upon the result of which depended the existence of a nation. But when the independence of the country was achieved, and the Federal and State constitutions adopted, the publick attention was again turned to the system of free schools. The zeal with which they were now patronized, and the liberality with which higher semina.
ries were founded, and endowed, evinced that a grateful posterity were not unmindful of the treasure, which had been committed to their keeping. Since the adoption of the Federal constitution, the means of education have been vastly increased in every part of the United States. In most of the states, which have been incorporated since the revolution, reservations of land to a large amount are made for the encouragement of schools and colleges. As the settlement of the new states goes on, and population increases, these lands will be improved, and become productive. So the younger sisters of the family of the United States have resources for the dissemination of knowledge, which will increase, precisely as the population increases, and the wants of the people become more urgent. What the original states of the Union, by whose exertions and sacrifices this territory was achieved, have received as an equivalent for such copious concessions in favour of the new states, I am not able to say. Nor am I sure they have received any equivalent. But this is a question, with which I am, at present, not much interested. Whether the appropriations for education in the western states have been made by mutual and equal concessions from all the states, or whether they are made by the old states in favour of the new, the effect will be the same on the condition of those, who are to enjoy the advantages resulting from them. As the first object in the formation of every government is, to provide for its own preservation; and as the general
diffusion of knowledge and virtue is the most effectual, if not the only means of insuring stability to republican institutions, the policy of the liberal appropriations made by Congress for education, in every new state they incorporate, is undoubtedly an enlightened policy, and worthy of an enlightened and free government. In some of the states, which, since the revolution, were inhabited only by savages and brutes, schools and higher seminaries of learning are now in successful operation, affording opportunities and advantages for education adequate to prepare young men for all the professions. The means of education are not yet to be compared with those of New England ; but the time is not far distant, when in the progress of events, we may expect rivals to our free school system, in the West.
The means of education in New England have been much extended in all departments, from the primary schools up to the Colleges and University. But whether the means have been increased in as rapid a ratio as the resources and demands of the country, admits of a doubt; or rather, it is certain they have not. Though schools, academies, and colleges, have been founded, and encouraged in all the New England States to a good degree, none have afforded so steady and efficient a patronage to them, as Connecticut and Massachusetts. Connecticut, by publick and private munificence, has built up Yale College to be the second in the Union, in the means it affords of acquiring a thorough and